A boy born on the stroke of midnight to two "Covid warriors" was among the first children welcomed into the world in the UAE in 2022.
Kion, a second child to Elsa Kurian, a nurse who has cared for Covid patients at NMC Royal Hospital Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi and Thomas Alexander, who works at Zayed Military Hospital, was delivered naturally, seconds into the new year at NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi.
The Indian couple said they were thrilled to welcome the new addition, who weighed 2.99 kilograms.
"It seems God gifted us with the bundle of joy as a reward to our selfless service to humanity, braving all odds, fighting the pandemic as covid warriors," Ms Kurian said.
At NMC Speciality Hospital in Al Ain, a couple welcomed their first baby 42 minutes after midnight.
Baby Mohammed Muhaibullah was born to Ayesha Zubai and Imran Ali, from Pakistan. He weighed 3.9kg.
Dr Sheeba Binoj, specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology at NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain, said Ms Zubai was due on January 3.
“The healthy baby weighed almost 4kg,” she said. “New mum and baby are fine and happy. It’s their first baby after waiting for eight years.”
At NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah, twin sisters Seela and Seleen were born to Egyptian parents Nada Mohamed and Mohamed ElKhadoary at 1.37am and 1.58 am, respectively, via emergency Caesarean section. They weighed 2.3kg and 1.6kg. The twins are doing well.
“We are grateful to Allah for this truly blessed day,” Mr ElKhadoary said.
Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi was also busy with deliveries.
Mohammed Ashar was born on the stroke of midnight, weighing 2.6kg, to Indian parents, Asfiya Sultana and Mohammed Ansari.
“We were expecting the delivery to happen close to the New Year,” Mr Ansari said.
“Welcoming our little prince on this special day is a proud and happy moment. This is our third child, and the entire family has been waiting for this day. He brings new hope to our family.”
Mr Ansari thanked the medical and nursing staff at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi, who cared for his wife and baby boy.
At 1.29am, Hmaid Alhattawi was born to Emirati parents Hassan Alhattawi and Ayesha Almamari. Mother and baby are doing well.
“To be blessed with a baby on a special day adds to the happiness of the family,” said Dr Sausan Rahman, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at Burjeel Hospital.
“We wish the family and the baby a very happy and healthy life.”